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Thread: Why the Lack of Innovation?

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* uk_caver's Avatar
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    Default Why the Lack of Innovation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bolster View Post
    And the market is languishing for a floody 1AAA headlamp. Look at how the marketplace adores 1AAA handhelds (me too; I don't particularly like AAA but I own a Preon, it's my EDC; before that I carried a Fenix L0D). Now consider the additional advantage of that tiny size on your head; it would be like wearing nothing. Geez, what an opportunity just waiting for someone to capitalize on it. Eventually ZL will wake up and make it. Then we'll have more ZL dominance.
    I'd wonder how well flood and 1xAAA really go together for many people - for a floody light there is some minimum amount of light that is useful for general movement. etc, and that does take some amount of power.
    If the light is going to end up costing pretty much the same (component costs similar, machining costs maybe not much different) as a 1xAA for ~40% of the power capacity there might be a relatively limited market.
    Not that I might not be in the market for such a thing myself, given suitable power levels and a realistic price, but only because I have a particular niche in mind that few might share (fastening a light on my helmet under my main light).

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* Bolster's Avatar
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    Default Re: is it time for a zebralight subforum?!?!?

    Hmm, well, you're a caver, so you need a BRIGHT floody light, yes? Consider the person who wants to EDC a headlamp for reading or working...I'd guess a top lumen of 50 would be useable. Although you probably right that for the reduced power, you'd want to economize that beam down to 60 degrees, not squander it across 120 degrees.

    If the "relatively limited market for 40% less capacity" argument held (which is logical), you'd not have the hot business in 1AAA handhelds that exists. I think I'm a decent example here: I have several nice compact AA handhelds, but the one I carry is a Preon 1AAA, because it truly disappears in the pocket for size and weight. It's a "convenience" light so I don't expect long runtimes from it.

    When I travel, I carry a 1AA headlamp in "DavidT" style (around the neck, which can be used around the head if needed). I'd change that out for a 1AAA headlamp in an instant, to get the smaller size.

    am I sufficiently OT now???
    Last edited by Bolster; 06-12-2012 at 12:37 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: is it time for a zebralight subforum?!?!?

    It also seems that the availability of 18650 headlamp variations plays a significant role in interest in ZebraLight offerings on CPF.

    For the general public a high level of interest in 18650 lights wouldn't likely be the case...but for many members of forums like these, aware of benefits in power/output/runtime associated with 18650 lights in general (and in many cases already owning 18650 batteries and chargers for other lights), the application to headlamps obviously draws a lot of interest as well.

    I remember getting my first 18650 batteries and charger when I purchased a Dereelight a few years ago (and later, 18650 carriers for a Milky Modded Surefire M6)...and that sort of opened the door (or maybe the Pandora's Box) for trying other 18650 lights, which gave me (personally) plenty of interest in 18650 headlamps. When ZebraLight released the H600, I couldn't help but want to be in on the discussions...and see how it performed with my own eyes.

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    Flashaholic* uk_caver's Avatar
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    Default Re: is it time for a zebralight subforum?!?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bolster View Post
    If the "relatively limited market for 40% less capacity" argument held (which is logical), you'd not have the hot business in 1AAA handhelds that exists. I think I'm a decent example here: I have several nice compact AA handhelds, but the one I carry is a Preon 1AAA, because it truly disappears in the pocket for size and weight. It's a "convenience" light so I don't expect long runtimes from it.
    I think there may be some beamshape factor involved - I have an E01 as my surface/underground EDC (on a string with my knife and spare car key), and it's great, but that's partly because I get 10 hours of usable 10lm light out of it, usable to quite an extent because it is somewhat concentrated, and so adequate for moving around and seeing at least some distance in the dark, as well as general surface tasks like looking for dropped things, having something to poke around in dark spaces, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bolster View Post
    am I sufficiently OT now???
    Well, the original topic was rather a yes/no one, and given the subject of original topic, maybe it's better not to start yet another ZL thread?

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    Default Re: is it time for a zebralight subforum?!?!?

    I wouldn't pay $60 for a 1AAA headlamp but if it were done right (small size, weight, limited headband size) it would be nice for a headlamp that you can almost forget that you have on. It would have to use NIMH.

    It wouldn't even have to have a complicated UI. High and low would do it for me. Something like the beam of the H51f would be perfect for me. It would need to be no more than $30 however.

    I think a lot of the interest and especially the discussion regarding Zebralights is because it is a product where the manufacturer is being innovative.

    That isn't really happening with Petzl, Black Diamond, and Princton Tec. As "OK" as their lights are, it's just more of the same each time they upgrade. It's always 3AAA, hinged gate, one step forward and usually one step back as well in some area.

    Not much to discuss there.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* Bolster's Avatar
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    Default Why the Lack of Innovation?

    You would pay $60 for an AA but not for an AAA? The manufacturing costs would be about the same. People pay extra for smaller watches and smart phones. I would expect to pay about same for an AAA headlamp. I agree, a simple UI would be great. Just high, low, and moon.

    Yes, Petz Princ & Diamond are in a serious rut. I would LOVE to see one of them break out with some innovation.

    Someone needs to make a small single cell light with an articulating mirror so the light goes out the end or, flip, out the side. Voila, both handheld and head-lampable. As a handheld, a traditional spot-spill. As a headlamp, diffused.

    And mfgrs are missing the DavidT innovation of an around-the-neck / and-or / headband light which is very handy.

    So many cool things could be done, and just aren't.

    I'm beginning to think the problem with the "Zebra" dominance (and secondarily, the Spark dominance) isn't the forum being brainwashed, it's the absolutely sucky non-innovative competition that gives us little else to talk about.

    I was all set to love the Pixa. For all the hype, what a disappointing, non-innovative whale. Apologies to Pixa owners, but seriously.

    Admit it, Zebra and Spark are innovators. Behind them somewhere is SF, which sometimes innovates and generally makes a high quality product. And then there are the dreary clones, inventing a hundred adequate ways to make the same adequate light.

    My opinion, nothing more, and I'm sure that's offensive to someone, so pre-apologies all around.
    Last edited by Bolster; 06-12-2012 at 07:18 PM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Why the Lack of Innovation?

    OP pushes ZL thread count up one. ;-)
    Speedsix cracked me up. :-P
    The brighter the light, the darker the shadow.

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    Default Re: Why the Lack of Innovation?

    Manufacturing costs for a single AAA headlamp would be the same as for a single AA and if Zebralight made it it probably would sell for $60 but I wouldn't buy it and that may be why they don't make it

    A small cell phone works just as well as a large one. A single AAA headlamp doesn't last long enough for it to do anything for me worth $60. To some it would be worth it but maybe there aren't enough people in that category to make it worth a manufacturer's time. Who knows!
    Last edited by gcbryan; 06-13-2012 at 01:56 AM.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* Bolster's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why the Lack of Innovation?

    Well, gcb, darn it, you're being difficult. Lookit, a AAA should do about 1/2 of what an AA will do, yes? So being conservative, an AAA might do 50 lumens for 2 hours, or 15 lumens for 12 hours. That's not so bad. and it would be extremely lightweight and small footprint. LOL, this is funny, I generally avoid AAAs and now you've got me arguing for them! LOL!

    You make a good point that if people perceive them to be less value, they'd have to be priced less to sell, and the profit margin might not be there.
    Last edited by Bolster; 06-13-2012 at 08:28 AM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Why the Lack of Innovation?

    I tell you what...if ZL came up with a tiny AAA headlamp, I'd be very tempted to get one at whatever fair price they offered it (I'd guess it would fall around $60). It would be especially nice if they could do it with something like a half-size holder and maybe half-width headband (all around less bulk from lamp to holder to headband).

    I bet they might sell more of them than what is being imagined here, despite perception. I think people would find the concept intriguing and the reality of the size (lack of bulk) convenient and realistically useful. As a tail-standing unit it would have equally valuable utility. Ha! And what the mods-oriented folks might come up with to expand its use...

    gcbryan hit it on the head when he spoke of ZebraLight's innovation that keeps them constantly moving forward and visible...and a brand with plenty of ongoing activity to spark ongoing discussion.
    Last edited by varuscelli; 06-13-2012 at 12:51 AM.

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    Default Re: Why the Lack of Innovation?

    Quote Originally Posted by varuscelli View Post
    I tell you what...if ZL came up with a tiny AAA headlamp, I'd be very tempted to get one at whatever fair price they offered it (I'd guess it would fall around $60). It would be especially nice if they could do it with something like a half-size holder and maybe half-width headband (all around less bulk from lamp to holder to headband).
    I've been waiting for them to do a AAA headlamp right from the start and would buy one sight unseen.
    Marduke - Solitaire...I've seen matches which are brighter AND have a longer runtime. 光陰矢の如し

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    Administrator Norm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why the Lack of Innovation?

    All off topic posts above have been moved to create this new thread.

    Unfortunately there is still some crossover between the two threads, it's very hard to unscramble an egg.

    Norm

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    Default Re: Why the Lack of Innovation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bolster View Post
    ...a AAA should do about 2/3 of what an AA will do, yes?
    AAA Eneloop = 800mah
    AA Eneloop = 2000mah
    800/2000 = 0.4 or 2/5

    It could have 3 modes (60, 15, 3 lm) and a twist UI. It could be called the H40. It could be $39.
    Last edited by YoSeKi; 06-13-2012 at 01:13 AM.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Why the Lack of Innovation?

    It could also be called the ITP H01 and sell for $29.95

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    Default Re: Why the Lack of Innovation?

    Quote Originally Posted by gcbryan View Post
    It could also be called the ITP H01 and sell for $29.95
    ZebraLight H40 could be priced $9.05 higher for having ironed out the iTP H01's flaws.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Why the Lack of Innovation?

    I'd love to see a ZebraLight AAA version headlamp at the sub-$40 USD level...but given the pricing history of their lamps, I just can't see them selling one for much less than their usual offerings go for. Too bad for us (the buyers and users), but the $59 to $69 USD range would likely be the reality...although I'd like to be wrong about that.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Why the Lack of Innovation?

    I think a AAA headlamp would be a cool option, but to make the whole package attractive, you'd need to do something about the headstrap.

    After all, right now the headstrap + rubber mounting rings from my ZL take up more room in my pocket than the H502 does itself.

    So if you replaced my single AA headlight with a single AAA headlight, but I still had to use a wide elastic strap like the ZL, the Fenix, or the NiteIze (non-elastic) strap, then I am still stuck with a very bulky package. All of the AAA advantage has been lost.

    So if you ask me, the real innovation that we need is in headstraps, or attachments, or whatever.

    I'm thinking of having a large magnet implanted in my forehead.

    More seriously, this is part of why I always found the Zipka very cool and admirable, though I still haven't purchased one:

    it may not have innovative electronics, but it is about the *only* attempt to do something innovative with the strap.

    So: combine an AAA body with some kind of Zipka-like string-on-a-spring, and *then* maybe you've got something!

  18. #18
    Enlightened tychoseven's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why the Lack of Innovation?

    I'd buy a single AAA headlamp if ZL made one. I like their UI and form factor, and the extra-tinyness would be great for EDC! Emphasize runtime over output and I'm there.
    Maratac AAA Cu w/ Nichia 219; Zebralight H51Fw; Surefire C2 w/ Nichia 219 drop-in.
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  19. #19
    Flashaholic Shorty66's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why the Lack of Innovation?

    Thats zebralights flaw: the headbands/mounts.
    This post has been enhanced with the Misspeller.

  20. #20
    Flashaholic* uk_caver's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why the Lack of Innovation?

    Quote Originally Posted by lampeDépêche View Post
    I think a AAA headlamp would be a cool option, but to make the whole package attractive, you'd need to do something about the headstrap.
    [...]
    More seriously, this is part of why I always found the Zipka very cool and admirable, though I still haven't purchased one:

    it may not have innovative electronics, but it is about the *only* attempt to do something innovative with the strap.

    So: combine an AAA body with some kind of Zipka-like string-on-a-spring, and *then* maybe you've got something!
    I guess anything Zipka-like needs some space for the mechanism, and also a flat enough back to maintain the angle of the light which might add quite an overhead to an AAA light.

    As a minimalist idea, it might be possible to make a light where the headband was a piece of replaceable thin shockcord which could be wrapped around the light when not in use, but there'd need to be something to stop the light rotating about its horizontal axis when in position (some kind of solid or collapsible/foldable backplate or other stabilising 'arms', etc).

  21. #21
    Flashaholic* Bolster's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why the Lack of Innovation?

    Quote Originally Posted by uk_caver View Post
    As a minimalist idea, it might be possible to make a light where the headband was a piece of replaceable thin shockcord which could be wrapped around the light when not in use, but there'd need to be something to stop the light rotating about its horizontal axis when in position (some kind of solid or collapsible/foldable backplate or other stabilising 'arms', etc).
    Seems like a good idea. Somewhat similar to the DavidT carry but with elastic. My version of his style of carry is to put a ZL inside an elastic finger bandage (sold at Walgreen's) which fits the light tightly, and then thread through a flat shoestring. A cordlock secures the string around the neck or the head. The flat shoestring has some minimal "give" to it so it's pretty comfortable for short periods of use on the head. This is ideal for travel. You just keep the light around your neck under your shirt until it's needed. Once in the dark back seat of a Taxi you pop the light out and turn it on at chest level, to read directions & etc. (Works best with full flood light.) The other advantage is storage. Wrap the shoelace around the light and into a pocket. Minimal bulk and the windings protect the light.
    Last edited by Bolster; 06-13-2012 at 12:22 PM.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Why the Lack of Innovation?

    People like AAA micro lights because they are small enough to fit into a pocket or keychain. Once you quadruple the size by adding a headband and clamp, it's hard to justify the small battery performance.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Why the Lack of Innovation?

    Quote Originally Posted by finn View Post
    People like AAA micro lights because they are small enough to fit into a pocket or keychain. Once you quadruple the size by adding a headband and clamp, it's hard to justify the small battery performance.
    But a tailstanding AAA lamp that directs light the way ZebraLight headlamps do would be innovative and desirable by many, regardless of headband. Headband aside, I'd find a lamp like that very useful.

    ZebraLight does need to find a way around their seemingly stubborn desire to stick to the same headband with holders that vary only slightly in size for every headlamp. The current headband, even with a smaller holder, would indeed be overkill for an AAA headlamp version. Maybe that's part of the reason they haven't come out with an AAA headlamp, with the headband and holder being seen as some kind of undesired expense in terms of mass production (who knows?).

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